Landlord has told me my room is already leased/unavailable for next year? What?
March 13, 2012 1:48 PM   Subscribe

My landlord just informed me that my room is unavailable for next year since he already signed someone else... and I've no idea what to think of this.

Basically, I showed up at my apartment today and my LL was doing his usual tinkering in the yard. He asked me if I'd given any thought to next years lease and I said "uh yeah, but I gotta pee really badso I'll be right back." So I ran off and came back outside maybe seven minutes later.

Me: "So I'm not entirely sure what's up yet... I might be transferring schools so I'm waiting on a few applications, but -"
Him: (cutting me off) "Well I've leased out your room."
Me: "What?"
Him: "The other two girls have told me they're staying, and I've leased out your room to someone else. So you'll have to find somewhere else for June 1st."

I kinda blinked and went back inside, but now I'm wondering what on earth is up with this. I live in an off-campus two-family apartment on the lower level with two other girls. We are all on the same lease, which lasts from 6/1/11 to 5/31/12. We've had a bit of trouble as roommates (as you'll know if you've seen my previous threads), but had all intended to stay for next year. I only recently started applying to transfer schools.

He has never said anything to me that would lead me to believe he was dissatisfied with me as a tenant. My roommates are the ones with loud animals and I basically stay shut in my room the majority of the time. My worst offence was probably leaving late night dog poo until the next morning to pick up (when he'd said he wouldn't let us have dogs if he came across poo), which was very occasional. It was always picked up right away in the morning and so far as I know he never came across it.

The one roommate who was home (C) at the time says she knew nothing about our third roommate (A) staying or about this unknown person signing. I texted A (who's in Puerto Rico currently) and she said she hasn't said anything negative about me to the LL but didn't comment on the new person.

He left before I had a chance to go back outside and ask him why he hadn't asked what my intentions were. I'm sure he's fully within his rights as property owner to lease out his rooms to whomever he wants, but still... I'm a little perturbed.

What's up with this? If I don't transfer I've been hung out to dry now and am frankly pretty pissed about being told I have no say in whether I stay or not.
posted by isaynay to Home & Garden (35 answers total)
Sounds like your roommates may have approached him as a united front and left him to be the bearer of bad news. Just a guess..
posted by bquarters at 1:53 PM on March 13, 2012 [20 favorites]

Was this literally the first time you heard anything about it, or had he asked earlier and you just hadn't gotten back to him yet? How/when did your roommates tell him you were re-upping? It sounds like he thought you would have said something already if you planned on staying, and since you hadn't he moved forward with renting out the room. Is that possible? Otherwise, it really does sound like your roommates decided to go talk to him without you. Either way, though, he is of course under no obligation to continue renting to you -- the lease protects both of you, after all.
posted by brainmouse at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2012

Yeah, sounds like your roommates burned you. But at any rate your least was up at the end of May, so you were always subject to it not being renewed. Sucks, but nothing you can do about it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:56 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yup. You've been backdoor kicked out. Be happy that you get to find new, better roommates. You have plenty of time to find a new place.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Consider yourself blessedly free of your shitty (and I use that word intentionally) roommates.
posted by ambrosia at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2012 [12 favorites]

It's not personal, and he's giving you plenty of notice. It sucks that you're going to have to find a sublet for a couple of months before you go to your next city, but you can handle this.

Whether you stay in your city or transfer to a new college, keep in mind that there will be a lot of apartments in your current city that will be vacant during the summer, since it sounds like year-long leases are the SOP for landlords in your city. This means you shouldn't have much trouble finding a sublet in your current city for June 1 - Aug 15 or whenever.

You can do this. You've got plenty of time to find a sublet or a new place between now and the end of May.
posted by gauche at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2012

Did he not approach you all to say "Please give notice if you will be signing a lease for another year by X date, otherwise I'll assume you are not and will be moving out by end of May" ? This is standard at all the places I've stayed.
posted by utsutsu at 1:58 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

You are blessedly free of those roommates and that landlord. I know it's a hassle to find a new place, but.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:00 PM on March 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

Your lease expires 1 June. For whatever reason, he's exercising his right not to renew with you. You are going to have to sort out your transfer status and then find somewhere else to live.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:01 PM on March 13, 2012

Response by poster: First I've heard of anything, tbh. I appreciate the kind comments though, especially from those who remember my other thread (making me laugh xD). I guess I'd just assumed he'd check and see if he needed to find a new tenant before going off and finding one.
posted by isaynay at 2:03 PM on March 13, 2012

You are blessedly free of those roommates and that landlord. I know it's a hassle to find a new place, but.

Seriously, this is a blessing in disguise. This is literally (and I am using that word deliberately) the kind of situation that phrase was meant to describe. Your roommates are obnoxious jerks who kicked you out of your own house for objecting to having animal waste strewn about the living room, and now your landlord is stuck with them after letting them eff you over. These people deserve each other.

You are going to be AMAZED at how much better your life is when none of these people are in it anymore. Pack up, move out, and move on.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:05 PM on March 13, 2012 [41 favorites]

I'm shocked that's actually legal, but in any case I think you're lucky that you will get to live in a place where non-housetrained dogs do not roam around.

You might want to confirm that your roommates aren't blaming the indoor dog shit on you, in case you need a landlord reference.
posted by jeather at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, move on. I know right now it's irksome and maybe incredibly anxiety producing but give yourself a couple of days to regain your perspective and peace of mind again, and you'll see this is really lucky break to find a better living situation.

Once you've done that begin to put the word out there through the usual channels at your school for that sort of thing and I bet you'll be surprised at your options, so don't let this alone be the impetus for you to transfer schools if you're finding indeed that after some thought you're beginning to think that school might work and your reservations are seriously leaving you. If they haven't well then sounds like you're all set.
posted by Skygazer at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2012

Wait, these are the dog poo people? I'd be worried that, not only have they tattled to the landlord to get you removed (even if just by dropping broad hints or something), but they're also going to blame the mess on you and your previous foster dog so that you lose your deposit and they don't. After all you're leaving, it doesn't matter if you get screwed over some more. I'd be documenting all the poo from now until June, assuming you haven't already (I really hope you have been), and mentally putting together a case for why the state of the place is not your fault. Even if each new 'accident' gets cleaned up soon after it happens, this level of poo definitely *is* leaving noticeable traces and someone is going to have to pay to clean up the mess.

I'm sorry you got shafted this way. Even if the landlord just decided arbitrarily to kick you out it's not a nice way to treat you. But you're so lucky to be leaving the literally toxic situation you're in. And since there's nothing you can do but move, might as well be happy you're escaping.
posted by shelleycat at 2:22 PM on March 13, 2012 [18 favorites]

I agree with everyone that you should not stay in this shitty, shitty place. But still, depending on where you live, what your landlord is doing might not be legal. In my jurisdiction for example, you have the automatic right to continue your lease, regardless of the wishes of the landlord, unless there are very specific circumstances, none of which have been met here. You should probably check with a tenant's rights organization in your area to see if this is true where you are - this could be good leverage in case your roommates and/or landlord are conspiring to get damages out of you.
posted by Ladysin at 2:44 PM on March 13, 2012

omg, these are the dog poo ppl—just be glad you get to leave!
posted by violetk at 2:52 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

It does sound like your roommates had a talk with him. Blessing in disguise.

And take that poor dog with you!
posted by Vaike at 2:55 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm so happy for you! I can't imagine you'll have trouble finding a place at least for the summer, and I think when any landlord hears the story of where you're moving from, they won't have a second thought about you taking good care of the place. "I've lived your nightmare," you can tell them.
posted by rhizome at 2:59 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is actually not how leases work. A landlord issues a lease to an apartment. He does not go about finding new tenants for an existing or renewing lease. He clearly talked to the other two roommates, who renewed the lease and excluded you from it. So, yes. GOOD RIDDANCE TO GARBAGE ROOMMATES.

Make sure you use up your deposit for your final time there, and make sure you get your security deposit, with any required interest. And try not to give them all the finger when you leave.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:09 PM on March 13, 2012

That is awesome. You get away from your disgusting roommates, and for not renewing your lease, your landlord receives the karmic reward of another year of their (literal) crap! Congratulations; go find yourself an awesome apartment!
posted by homodachi at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, be very, very happy about this.
posted by mleigh at 3:11 PM on March 13, 2012

Let me get this straight: it's okay for dogs to shit in your room, but not on the grass?

I suppose you could investigate whether your landlord is violating any tenancy laws, but the time would be better spent looking for a new place to live.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:24 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Be lucky that you'll undoubtedly find new and better roommates in a cleaner residence.

Meanwhile, I'll be looking for the AskMe from the new roommate, that's remarkably like the one you wrote a few weeks back. Wait until the landlord eventually realizes that you weren't the problem! What a rude awakening that will be for him.
posted by SillyShepherd at 4:05 PM on March 13, 2012

On one hand, this is quite shady on either the landlord or roommates' part. On the other hand, this is a total blessing in disguise.
posted by radioamy at 4:09 PM on March 13, 2012

Definitely ask about your security deposit situation in advance. Many landlords (at least in NYC) seem to think that they can keep that, because the only way to get it back is for the tenant to take them to small claims court, and I've lost it TWICE now, and next time you can bet I'm going to just use it for the final month.

But you choose your battles, it might not be worth the stress.
posted by Skygazer at 4:15 PM on March 13, 2012

I think your roommates fired you, frankly. But it's also possible that the other girls had already told him they were staying, and possibly (not maliciously) intimated that you were possibly not. Either way, not all leases require notice from either party regarding renewals, and it sucks that you apparently weren't aware of that. Some landlords are really quite uptight about keeping all their rooms filled at once and it's highly likely he would not have let you run month to month or a truncated lease had you decided to transfer. So either he crapped (hee) on you to protect himself or your roommates crapped (hee heee) on you to protect themselves. I don't think this is worth fighting for, personally.
posted by sm1tten at 4:31 PM on March 13, 2012

Consider yourself lucky: after all, your landlord is giving you 2-1/2 months motice, where he's probably only required to give you 30 days.

And yeah, it's a really high probability that your roommates (A and C, as I recall from your previous question) fudged the facts / twisted the truth / flat-out lied to get you tossed out while they get to stay; the good news here is that eventually the landlord WILL know the truth about the dog poo on his carpets --- after all, once you've moved out, do you really think that, magically, that poor untrained dog of theirs will never again take a dump indoors when they leave him alone all day? --- and once you're off the lease, ALL REPAIRS AND CLEANING COSTS will be their problem.
posted by easily confused at 5:57 PM on March 13, 2012

Yeah, your roommates are lying to you when they say they knew nothing about this. They've gone behind your back and got you kicked out in advance. But like everyone else said - it is a blessing. Document any future pooping and fight to get your deposit back.
posted by deborah at 6:46 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't think your LL has any obligation to renew the lease with you, but yes, huge blessing in disguise. I would have high-fived him!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:00 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mm A just told me he had left HER a voicemail about ME not being eligible for rerental because of unlocked doors, dog shit, and "some other things" he apparently didn't go into.

If he came across dog poo I hadn't gone crawling around in the night for, ok that's fair on some level I guess. Although I did leave him a note explaining why I was leaving it til the morning (potholes, darkness, my dog is off leash when she does it, etc) and he never commented against it.

As for the door, I don't know why he kept thinking that was me. He said something once before about making sure I locked the door, but I very rarely use that door (only when I'm right in and right out, eg. taking the dog out or walking my boyfriend to his car). It'll be unlocked while I'm outside and RIGHT THERE... and then I lock it on my way back in. I suppose he could see me leave to walk my boyfriend out and not see me come back in, concluding that I just left and left it unlocked... but I would assume my lack of shoes/appropriate outerwear would have given him second thoughts about that. I even made a giant sign in the hallway to remind myself about locking the door and am particularly anal about it.

I suppose I should ask about what "some things" means? If he's mentioning dog shit (didn't specify outside or in) should I probably worry about my deposit? What can I do to get it back? It was a month and a half's rent. I'm gonna go read over my lease again later and see what it says about how the SD can be designated... but as for actually approaching my land lord? Any tips?

He's quite an intimidating, loud man and I'm really not keen on giving him any reason to lay into me. He's always kind of scared me as it is.

That being said, yeah, this is a total blessing in disguise. Thank you so much for
posted by isaynay at 10:15 AM on March 14, 2012

Response by poster: *reminding me
posted by isaynay at 10:53 AM on March 14, 2012

I would make some kind of written statement and give it to your landlord, and keep a copy. Something like, "I will be moving, but I just wanted to set the record straight about x things." It really sounds like you're getting the blame for everything. I do worry you'll have trouble getting your deposit back--is there a rental board in your city? So document anything that seems sketchy to you. Your roommates and landlord sound horrible, so I bet you'd be happier elsewhere.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:04 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm just very frustrated by his inability to talk directly to ME about any problems he has with ME. He has my number, so why is he leaving A a voicemail about ME being ineligible for re-rental?

He's done this before too. A fuse blew in our apartment so there I was, tinkering around in the basement with my head in the fusebox... I gave him a call about it because I was having trouble and left a voicemail asking him to call me back because I was the one dealing with it... ten minutes later he calls C (who he knows isn't exactly technologically inclined) about the fusebox. And I'm standing there, phone in hand, very confused.

I'm sorry to keep ranting. It just seems remarkable to me that the people I'm involved with here are incapable of approaching the people they actually have problems with. It's amazing.
posted by isaynay at 11:20 AM on March 14, 2012

Response by poster: I can imagine him trying to detract from my SD over the dog poo... but since I wasn't approached about this or any other damages he believed I was in the process of causing or whether the "damages" were even caused by me (note, I live with three other girls fully capable of leaving doors unlocked and was not the only tenant with a large dog), can I use that towards getting the majority of my SD back? I mean, how am I supposed to know there's a problem unless I'm told about it? As far as I knew, things were fine and dandy between he and I.
posted by isaynay at 11:39 AM on March 14, 2012

A just told me he had left HER a voicemail about ME not being eligible for rerental because of unlocked doors, dog shit, and "some other things" he apparently didn't go into.

I would bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that this is not an honest representation of how things went down.

Document A's dog pooping inside for the next month and a half, and review your lease. There is no way it says, "Deposit is not refundable if landlord ever once noticed that a dog had pooped in the yard or a tenant left the doors unlocked." Clean up your room, spackle over any holes in the walls, make the windows shine, get a walkthrough June 1, and hand your landlord a letter that says you expect your deposit back within 7 days based on your walkthrough.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:13 PM on March 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

« Older Are there reasons why I wouldn't want to do Oracle...   |   White noise on one speaker Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.